Sunday, November 27, 2016

Small Moves, Small Moves

As I've been recovering from my surgery, my world has narrowed.  My bed, my room, my house.  Just stepping outside the front door feels like an adventure.  For someone who is usually very active and busy, I have had to adjust my expectations.  I'm amazed at the joy I find in achieving the smallest things each day.  I've also been amazed at how hard it is to keep my daily goals small and doable.  I'm reminded of the movie, Contact, with Jodie Foster, in which the child, Ellie Arroway, (Jenna Malone) is adjusting the dial of a ham radio receiver in an attempt to make contact with someone out there.  As her father watches her frustration, he advises, "Small moves, Ellie, small moves."

Small moves, Lauren.  Small moves.  The past two weeks have been about setting small goals and then achieving them.  Or not. Sometimes I pick something that is too hard, and then it's like Ellie turning the receiver dial too much - she winds up with static, and I wind up disappointed by my limitations.  Having the goals gives me something to look forward to, something to work toward, something I can discuss when people check on how I am. Here are a few of them:

Tuesday:  get through surgery, manage pain.  ✓
Wednesday:  walk downstairs and sit on couch.✓
Thursday:  have a BM, shower, change clothes, take a 5 minute walk.  (Way too many goals.  Only achieved the first one.  It's surprising how much you talk about bodily functions after surgery!)
Friday:  have a shower, wear clothes that aren't pajamas, take a short walk.  ✓✓✓ (Did it!  Jan helped me to the mailbox and back.)
Saturday:  take a short walk. ✓ (Jan helped me walk 1/4 way around neighborhood.)
Sunday:  go out to lunch with Jan.  (Too ambitious.  Had to rest from walking the day before.)
Monday:  go to the grocery store. ✓ (Jan took me to lunch and Nicole took me to the grocery store.)
Tuesday:  write some ty notes, make 1 lap around the neighborhood. (about 1/2 mile.)✓✓
Wednesday:  make pumpkin and pecan pies.  ✓
Thursday:  go to Thanksgiving potluck dinner at SpiritWorks.✓
Friday:  walk labyrinth. ✓
Saturday:  go hear bell ringers in CW.✓
Sunday:  go to Celtic service in Richmond for Advent 1 (too ambitious, couldn't do the hours in the car.)

See how small my world has become?  I was so thrilled the day we walked the labyrinth because I was outside in the sun, and walking around my neighborhood has never been so exciting.  Usually that's the walk I take when I'm being lazy and just trying to get in a few steps.  But the two times I've done it, I've gone so slowly, noticing the sun backlighting the golden leaves, feeling the crunch of the leaves under my feet, (HA!  Durn leaf blowers couldn't get them all!) breathing in the chilly, invigorating air, that it has felt like a long journey.  Each time I've been proud to get all the way around.

Having my world narrowed has broadened my gratitude.  So many things to be grateful for.  Gradual healing, time to rest, visit from my brother, excellent care from Jan, beautiful flowers from friends and family, gifts of soup and chicken salad and pumpkin bread and milkshakes, the warmth and purrs of Spirit as she warms my neck, the sweet ball of fur I call Shadow sleeping on my legs, phone calls from family and friends, a delicious Thanksgiving feast, cards and cards and cards.  I feel so loved and supported in this time.

I'm disappointed that I wasn't able to go to the Celtic service tonight.  It feels strange not to be in church for Advent 1.  It seems like every time I take two steps forward, the next day I take one back.  If I want to go back to work on Tuesday, I need to honor my body's needs today.  And today my body needed rest.  Being sick or having surgery teaches me compassion for those who live with sickness or injury all the time.  How hard it is to accept our limitations.  Grateful for the lesson.

Tomorrow's goal is to drive for the first time in two weeks.  And Tuesday I preside at the 7:30am service at Bruton.  There are so many things to be praying for right now.  Will you add me to your list?  Please pray that I can accept the things I am not able to do this week, that I have the energy and strength to do the things I can, and that I have the wisdom to know the difference.  And that I keep resting when I need to.  Small moves, Lauren.  Small moves.

Thank you for your prayers and support.  I am so grateful!!


  1. Totally get this. After I broke my arm (with complications), my world completely narrowed and small victories became VERY big. Hang in there and be patient with yourself. Be still and know that I am God.